Flattening processed, dried fiber-base paper

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by tbm, Jul 12, 2005.

  1. tbm

    tbm Member

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    Does anybody have a great method of completely flattening already dried fiber-base paper? I made 6 prints from 2 negatives this morning, hung the prints on plastic clothes pins, and need to flatten them so they can be successfully scanned by a publisher who is going to scan them and publish them with my article. Thanks!

    Terry
     
  2. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I hang my prints to dry and then flatten them in a dry-mounting press. Works great but presses can be way expensive. All I can say is that a combination of heat and pressure works, go at the problem from that direction.
     
  3. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    Rc prints would have been better for this application as they dry flat.

    Flattenig already dry prints is best done with a heat mounting press set to low and cool under weight.

    About 5 interchanges between photoblotters if you rewet them. So you need 10 blotters. Do not use weights.

    A blotter roll also works, but they are hard if not impossible to find.

    All things considered, I would reprint on RC paper.
     
  4. Shmoo

    Shmoo Subscriber

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    try putting one between 2 clean pieces of archival mat board and using a dry iron (NO STEAM) on the mat board/print/mat board sandwich. Flip the sandwich and iron again, then put a big book on it to hold it flat. By the time it's cool, it'll be flat.

    Good luck!
     
  5. mikeg

    mikeg Member

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    I don't have access to a dry mount press, so what I do is place the print between two clean pieces of mountboard and use an iron set to medium heat. I press quite hard and iron the mountboard. This flattens the print reasonably well but while the print is still warm I place it between clean sheets of paper or blotting paper and leave it under a pile of heavy books for a couple of days. This works well for me and the prints come out flat.

    Mike
     
  6. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    RC is cheap, fast and easy, but nothing looks as good as a print on FB paper!

    There used to be/still is made a print flattening solution. It was basically glycerin and water. I think Ethol made it. You can follow a recipe for it in Anchell's "Darkroom Cookbook". It worked ok, but further steps had to be taken after the soaking in the flattening solution.

    The above posts contain some good info.
     
  7. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Some time ago, someone here mentioned using a piece of cut granite, heated up in the oven as an alternative to a dry-mounting press. Perhaps a heated Pizza stone or thick marble cutting board could be employed to flatten prints. Just a thought.
     
  8. tbm

    tbm Member

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    Freestyle Camera just informed me they have in stock a Seal dry mount press that costs about $600 that they assured me will flatten fiber-base papers after complete drying, so I will drive to their store and buy it. Thanks, all, for your wonderful contributions!

    Terry
     
  9. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    You can't argue with FB prints being nicer for display purposes especially if you don't have them under glass. I have read a couple of accounts, but have no firsthand experience, indicating that for scanning purposes, RC papers might be a better choice. They lie flat from the get go without resorting to unusual measures and the uniformly slick surface works better with most scanners. So, if you can get the tonal range you want in your prints with RC paper, you might want to give it a go. Check with your publisher to see what he says.
     
  10. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Alas blotter rolls are history. Blotter books are worthless.
    So what does that leave us? Blotter Stacks!

    Blotter stacks Dry and Flatten at the same time. Two
    items make up a proper blotter stack; corrugated board and
    blotter sheets.

    I use A flute Ventilation corrugated board in conjunction
    with hydrophobic blotter sheets. An interleaving is done
    with the prints. The stack is weighted at top. Dan
     
  11. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    That'll solve the problem conveniently and permanently. And you'll also be able to dry-mount prints as well :smile:.
     
  12. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    How you dry the prints can make it easier or more difficult to flatten the prints when they are dry. Calumet offers a set of screens that helps keep the prints flatter as they dry: “This classic method of print drying is space-effective, environmentally correct and inexpensive. Sturdy anodized bronze frames are stretched with plastic-coated fiberglass screen. If you stack the frames, the prints will only be 1/2" apart so they will dry more slowly and will have less tendency to curl. For faster drying, see our Rack for Zone VI Screens. Screens take up minimal space and can be conveniently stacked out of the way when not in use. They are easy to wash for years of contamination-free print drying. Set of four 24 x 30" screens.” $43.99
    http://www.calumetphoto.com/ctl?PAG...=ZN7000&ac.cat.CatTree.detail=y&type=PRDINDEX

    Of course you can buy the rack for the screens to get more airflow $69.99, or you can buy the Forced Air Dryer for Zone VI Print Drying Screens $599.99 with heater. If you use the heat and rest the prints on the screen without putting a screen over the prints as well, you will have perfectly dry potato chip looking prints in minutes. You gotta love it.

    John Powers
     
  13. boyooso

    boyooso Member

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    I have found the best way to get flat FB prints is to...

    1. re-soak your prints

    2. Dry the prints only to the piont that the emulsion is no longer wet, we us a hair dryer. You don't want the emulsion to be sticky, but you still want a slight moisture to the print...

    3. put the prints in a stack and under some weight, we use light impressions interleaving tissue between the prints.

    4. Leave for 1-2 weeks, or at least 1-2 days.

    The longer you leave the prints the more permanently flat they will be.

    However for flat bed scanning you really need to dry mount the prints.

    I COMPLETELY DISAGREE with the idea that RC is better. The fiber prints are sharper and have greater detail than RC. We have done many test comparisons!!!

    Good Luck!

    Corey
     
  14. blackmelas

    blackmelas Subscriber

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    I've tried this for dry mounting and it works great. I can do about 3 or four mounts per hour. Here's the link-- http://www.apug.org/forums/showthread.php?t=6579&highlight=granite+dry+mount

    For just flattening however I use the iron method.
    Best regards,
    James
     
  15. Leon

    Leon Member

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    Imade my own screen from batton wood and some mosquito netting - cost me about £5 to make 5 screens each big enough for 4 91/2 x 12 prints. I dry all my prints face down after very carefull squeegying to gat as much water off as possible from both sides. Leave over night then place in a book under heavy weights and hey presto - very flat FB prints
     
  16. NikoSperi

    NikoSperi Member

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    Anyone in Europe know where to find the same thing (without paying the $3000 list for a Seal 210 - Yes, you read that correctly: THREE GRAND).
     
  17. Luis M.

    Luis M. Member

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    Look at thi site (from Spain - Spanish): http://www.foto-r3.com/

    They have the MACO Ecomat TP5060
    for about 1000 Euros.


    Bye.
     
  18. NikoSperi

    NikoSperi Member

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    Thx for that Luis. I'll try to find out more about those presses; 50x60 is a bit overkill for me. My spanish is pretty (totally) non-existent... if it comes to a deal I'll call you to interpret? :smile:
     
  19. tbm

    tbm Member

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    Hmmm...Last night I put all six 5 x 7 inch fiber prints in a book and placed the book under a 30-40 pound brass Stiffel lamp on my dining room table. I just pulled the book out from under the lamp and examined the prints and --wow!--it produced nice flattening!
     
  20. mark

    mark Member

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    I discovered that a heavy sheeet of metel heated to 225, in the oven, and put on top of a sandwich-Foamcore/print/cardstock-works great at flattening. After about two minutes under the metal I put a sheet of copper on it to cool it. Worked like a charm. The whole put it under a stack of books does not work for me. 60 science text books for a month and my prints still curled as soon as I took the books off. Now if I could just figure out how to use this method for mounting.

    I used copper because that is what I had handy. I bet aluminum would work great too or a metal skillet.
     
  21. Chris Lee

    Chris Lee Member

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    This may be a daft idea, but I was thinking the other day about the same problem, how about using a trouser press? you can pick them up for about £10 on Ebay. Next time I stay in a hotel I will take print with me!!!
     
  22. NikoSperi

    NikoSperi Member

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    Somehow I doubt they reach the temperature or pressure to do the job... but in effect, the Seal is just one heavy trouser press on steroids! Should I be wrong, however... which hotel?
     
  23. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    You might pick up a used Burke & James forced air
    blotter stack dryer. I know they show up now and
    then on eBay.

    Of course if your prints are already dry they'll need
    a re-wetting. That's the procedure I've adopted.
    Re-wet, sponge, screen dry until they just
    begin to deform, then into the stack. Dan
     
  24. AlanC

    AlanC Member

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    Leon,
    Where did you buy your mosquito netting?
    Alan